Metabolism and action of 9-beta-D-arabinofuranosyl-2-fluoroadenine

Peng Huang, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


9-$\beta$-D-arabinofuranosyl-2-fluoroadenine (F-ara-A) is an analogue of adenosine and 2$\sp\prime$-deoxyadenosine with potent antitumor activity both in vitro and in vivo. The mechanism of action of F-ara-A was evaluated both in whole cells and in experimental systems with purified enzymes. F-ara-A was converted to its 5$\sp\prime$-triphosphate F-ara-ATP in cells and then incorporated into DNA in a self-limiting manner. About 98% of the incorporated F-ara-AMP residues were located at the 3$\sp\prime$-termini of DNA strands, suggesting a chain termination property of this compound. DNA synthesis in CEM cells was inhibited by F-ara-A treatment with an IC$\sb{50}$ value of 1 $\mu$M. Cells were not able to restore the normal level of DNA synthesis even after being cultured in drug-free medium for 40 h. A DNA primer extension assay with M13mp18(+) single-stranded DNA template using purified human DNA polymerases $\alpha$ and further revealed that F-ara-ATP competed with dATP for incorporation into the A sites of the elongating DNA strands. The incorporation of F-ara-AMP into DNA resulted in a termination of DNA synthesis at the incorporated A sites. Pol $\alpha$ and $\delta$ were not able to efficiently extend the DNA primer with F-ara-AMP at its 3$\sp\prime$-end. Furthermore, the presence of F-ara-AMP at the 3$\sp\prime$-end of an oligodeoxyribonucleotide impaired its ligation with an adjacent DNA fragment by human and T4 ligases. Human DNA polymerase $\alpha$ incorporated more F-ara-AMP into DNA than polymerase $\delta$ and was more sensitive to the inhibition by F-ara-ATP, suggesting that polymerase $\alpha$ may be a preferred target for this analogue. On the other hand, DNA-dependent nucleotide turnover experiments and sequencing gel analysis demonstrated that DNA polymerase $\delta$ was able to remove the incorporated F-ara-AMP residue from the 3$\sp\prime$-end of the DNA strand with its 3$\sp\prime$-5$\sp\prime$ exonuclease activity in vitro, subsequently permitting further elongation of the DNA strand. The incorporation of F-ara-AMP into DNA was linearly correlated both with the inhibition of DNA synthesis and with the loss of clonogenicity. Termination of DNA synthesis and deletion of genetic material resulted from F-ara-AMP incorporation may be the mechanism responsible for cytotoxicity of F-ara-A. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)

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Recommended Citation

Huang, Peng, "Metabolism and action of 9-beta-D-arabinofuranosyl-2-fluoroadenine" (1990). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9033101.